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A Little Bit of Me

Yes, it's probably me - that person in the grocery store smelling like a horse barn

By KJ AartilaPublished 20 days ago Updated 4 days ago 3 min read
Getting in line for driving a pony in the York parade

A Little Bit of Me

I watched the movie in fascination: my first movie in a movie theater, and it was larger than life! I was eight years old and seeing “The Black Stallion” on the big screen, which cemented my passion.

Below is the scene from the movie where Alec is stranded on the beach with only the wild stallion.

From the earliest of days, I was horse-crazy. My first experiences in the equine world coming from a litte black and white pony named Lena.

Me and Lena the pony

When I was eight, I got my own horse - a little bay half-Arabian gelding named Jimmy. He was bred and trained by my Great Uncle and gifted to me (for a small fee from my parents) upon his retirement from the horse scene.

The first day I got Jimmy - he was 5, I was 8

Me and Jimmy in 1998, about 2 years before his death - I was 27 here

My hopes and dreams were inspired by The Black Stallion, the legend of Bucephalus, and the several aunts and uncles granting me access to horses, which nurtured my obsession. I must also give credit to my parents for their willingness to take on horse ownership on my behalf.

In the Legend of Bucephalus, Alexander the Great earned ownership of a horse, a black stallion, by taming the beast no one else could ride. He and the horse formed a partnership of trust and the horse carried Alexander the Great through many battles during the years of his rule. The legend implies the relationship between horse and boy was built on mutual respect. The boy listened to the horse. Because he was able to solve the issue, he earned the horse’s trust and loyalty.

The idea for a palpable, yet nearly invisible, connection is what I have always strived to achieve with horses. Although, I have lost my way and and lost my confidence many times over the years, I keep returning to my roots. I can’t stop. I have seen glimpses of the greatness, which feed ny hope and lead me back to the dream. I want to follow the path to developing a nearly magical connection with my horse, and I wish to share it with other people. What I am discovering as I get older and more immersed, is that nurturing that connection, finding that trust and developing it into a partnership is best achieved by learning about ourselves.

I value a relationship with horses, and how it mirrors relationships in life. And how we, as humans, perceive the world. If we are willing to be open and trusting, horses can help us fulfill our own potential, which, in turn, nurtures theirs. That is the value in any passion, though - its ability to teach us about ourselves. I wrote about one of a multitude of examples here - "The Impacts of a Truth," about how my heart-felt passion helped me view, understand and better my relationships in the human world, and horse world.

Alexander the Great was just a child when he tamed the wild horse and then ruled a country. He overcame incredible odds despite many naysayers because of the belief in himself and the trust of his beloved horse.

Thank you for reading! Leave comments below regarding your feelings on the issue of relating your passion to life and how it helps you! If you like this story, you can show your support with a small tip easily accessed by clicking on the “Tip” button at the bottom of this page - all proceeds go toward feeding my family, as they don’t really like hay as much as the horses do.

KJ Aartila grew up in a small, rural community surrounded by animals and family. She, along with her husband and daughter, horses and other pets, now live on 40 acres in Northern Wisconsin, surrounded by forest and wildlife. She has spent her life reading about, writing about and working with animals, her goal always to be as reliable, trustworthy and honest as a horse, but her innate humaness keeps getting in the way. She remains determined to keep trying, though.

If you’re interested in reading more content written by me, please go to my profile page here.

If you would like to see more information regarding my horse program, you can watch videos at my Youtube channel here.

Here's a link to my website!


About the Creator

KJ Aartila

Wife of a very tolerant husband and Mother of one teenage daughter in far northern Wisconsin with too many pets.

You can also find my Author page here

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Comments (26)

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  • Nikki Clam15 days ago

    Your story about your pet really touched my heart. It's amazing how much love and joy they bring into our lives. Thanks for sharing!

  • Erica Wagner17 days ago

    Thank you for this Keila! I loved reading about the magical connection you feel to these remarkable animals. If you haven't read Sarah Maslin Nir's book, Horse Crazy, I think you might like it...

  • Ethan Jackson19 days ago


  • Awesome story 🥰💬❤️💯✨Congrats🎉🎉

  • Allie Bickerton19 days ago

    Nice to meet you Keila! 🙂 I read this yesterday in the V+A group while I was making supper. I was in the middle of leaving a comment when I remembered I have a picture here capturing the moment I first sat on a horse. I was very young, less than 2, probably 1. My Mom is holding me up... I came back to the thread after taking a picture of my picture to share only to discover that I lost your post the the algorithm. So glad I came across it again! I wanted to say you raised some very thought provoking points! I enjoyed reading your deep perspective, and I can totally understand the obsession… I’m the lady in the grocery store probably dragging hay behind me.. (I have rabbits!) 😂

  • Sarah Ahmad19 days ago

    Follow me!! I will follow you back

  • Em Starrrrr19 days ago

    Lovely top story, Keila! Horses are such special animals. Hearted and subscribed…a black heart for the Black Stallion 🖤

  • JBaz19 days ago

    I love the thought you out into this piece. I could feel the love you had for Jimmy. Congratulations on Top Story

  • Paul Stewart19 days ago

    Congratulations on another fine Top Story - loved hearing more about your story and the pics of the horses are awesome! Well done!

  • Great story!! Congratulations on the top story

  • Dana Stewart19 days ago

    Absolutely love this piece. You are so right, relationships with horses do mirror relationships with people. How was I not subscribed to you? I am now. Congratulations on a meaningful Top Story!

  • I loved your comment on Alexander the Great. Cute Jimmy, sorry for ur loss. Congratulations on top story!!

  • Cathy holmes19 days ago

    Wonderful piece. Love the story and the pics. Congrats on the TS

  • Call Me Les19 days ago

    Yay! Go Keila 💛 Writing and pictures are both wonderful.

  • Mariann Carroll19 days ago

    Love your story, enjoyed your pictures with your horses. ❤️

  • Congratulations on your Top Story ❤️

  • Heather Hubler19 days ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!!

  • Heather Hubler19 days ago

    Thank you for sharing this piece of yourself :) I'm so glad horses came into your life at a young age and have been such a positive influence on your life. Great article :)

  • Furkan Ceylan20 days ago

    This is great. Love it.

  • I'm so sorry for you loss 🥺 Both Lena and Jimmy were so adorable!

  • Gina C.20 days ago

    It's always nice to get to know you a bit through your pieces, and I really love how you talk about horses! I loved the Black Stallion :) 😍

  • Thanks for sharing this! I loved the black stallion movies as a kid. Tell me your going to write a talking horse story for the tall tale challenge

  • Babs Iverson20 days ago

    Fabulous!!! Live this!!!💗💗💕

  • Very interesting. I loved reading the story of you and your love of horses!

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